Incoherent Rambling #5
"Tailsteak", Identity, and Teletubbies.

I have been asked, more than a few times, to what the name "Tailsteak" refers. Well, of course, it refers to me. I am Tailsteak. It is the name I use while online, everywhere online. According to Google, I am the only Tailsteak on the entire Internet. It feels good to know that. According to the most extensive search engine available, I am the only Tailsteak in the world. Quite possibly, the only Tailsteak in all recorded history. No one else wanted it.

I never have to be "tailsteak01" for anything.

I go through periods of obsession. For a few weeks, it might be a board game I'm making. Then it might be a series of short sci-fi stories. Then an idea for a massive RPG that will never exist, unless I suddenly become head of a large video game company for no particular reason. Then I look back at the board game, see how much it sucks, and throw it out. 1/0 could simply be called a large obsession that I haven't stopped yet.

For quite a while, I was obsessed with Dragonball Z. My brother was downloading bootleg subtitled episodes, and we watched them together. I believe it was, for him, the gateway to Otaku-hood. Or maybe it was Sailor Moon.

Anyway, I was Dragonball-obsessed as well, and soon became an expert on all things related to the Dragonball universe. There was one episode in particular that featured an alien planet called Arlia. Two of the main characters went there, met an entire civilization of bug-people, then left, never to return. I hated that. I mean, this was an entire species, and they only devoted a fragment of an episode to them. There was more story to be had.

Thus, as pathetic fanboy-types tend to do, I wrote some fanfiction to resolve the issue. Most fanfiction, of course, takes the main characters of a series, and puts them in new situations, which may or may not conflict with the actual canonical plotline. My story, in contrast, took minor characters, explained their situation, and fleshed out the universe without compromising its structural integrity, so to speak.

If you really care, the fanfiction can be found here. If you are not familiar with the Dragonball universe, I highly recommend you go out and rent the "Trouble on Arlia" video (It can probably be found at your local video store), then read the story, then watch the video. It's sorta cumulative. To be honest, the story isn't all that great, but it was my best work at the time.

Anyhow, this experience was a good one for me, and I went on to write some more fanfiction, and planned to create an entire website devoted to them. It was from these that I developed some of my ideas about fiction as a separate universe. Most other fanfic were unnatural forkings or bendings in a normally strong tree trunk. Mine were natural branches and twigs. It was minutiae. Thus, I called it "Tailsteak's Minutiae Collection".

I got the name "Tailsteak" from a quote that Gohan made in one particular episode. He only said it once. That was the idea. It was meant to convey an absolutely anal attention to detail.

Fortunately, the site from which my brother had been downloading these episodes was shut down, and, lacking its supply, my obsession died. Luke went on to other varieties of anime, and I discovered online comic strips. But I already had the hotmail account, so I kept the name Tailsteak. Over time, it became who I am.

Interestingly enough, I discovered that my real name, in numerology, comes out to 8, thusly:

M = 4, A = 1, S = 1, O = 6, N = 5. MASON = 17. 1 + 7 = 8.
Now the weird part is this-- my first name, middle name, last name, and my net name all come out to 8.
R = 9, O = 6, S = 1, S = 1. ROSS = 17. 1 + 7 = 8.
W = 5, I = 9, L = 3, L = 3, I = 9, A = 1, M = 4, S = 1. WILLIAMS = 35. 3 + 5 = 8.
T = 2, A = 1, I = 9, L = 3, S = 1, T = 2, E = 5, A = 1, K = 2. TAILSTEAK = 26. 2 + 6 = 8.
8, supposedly, refers to resurrection. Resurrection. Perhaps I'm destined to have a Near-Death Experience. That would be cool.

I think one of the reasons that I like using my pseudonym so much is that my other three names, as you may have surmised, are actually other people's last names. Each one bears the weight of several generations, whereas "Tailsteak" is still fresh and clean, for me, at least. "Mason" came from one of my Dad's uncles, "Ross" is my Mother's maiden name, and "Williams", of course, comes from my Dad.

I like the idea of the first-born child's middle name being the mother's maiden name. That would be a cool tradition. It's a real tradition, you know? Not like having gum on Sundays. This is one of those big arcane traditions that span generations. You gotta love that.

I once knew this half-Egyptian guy named Noel. We went to the same college, stayed in the same dorm, and, I swear, I had no idea he was Egyptian until the last week of the last semester. As it turns out, Noel's name actually stretched back to all his ancestors. On forms and stuff, he was just Noel Habashy. In real life, he was Noel <insert a two-minute string of funky-sounding Egyptian names here>. I thought that was so cool. So did he, really.

I guess that's one thing on which I miss out by being a regular ol' WASP. I can only trace my ancestors back a few steps. One must know who one is, and ancestry is a big part of that.

According to the big official Myers-Briggs Personality Test, I'm an "INTJ", an Introverted iNtuitive Thinking Judger (incidentally, I've been told that this was Einstein's classification). Myers-Briggs tests are weird, though, so I don't take that as gospel.

There are a lot of personality tests out there, and I've found that a lot of them will divide people into four types. Basically, you wind up with passionate leader-type people; cheerful social-type people, laid-back cool-type people, and anal mature-type people. I like to think of these as Fire, Air, Water, and Earth, respectively. I've heard that the Elizabethans thought that these character traits were the result of imbalances between four bodily fluids.

Interestingly enough, you can quite easily see how the Teletubbies were based on this personality model. Po is the smallest, and unquestionably the most active-- her favourite thing is the scooter, which is loud and fast. Laa-laa is a cheerful, singing Teletubby who loves her friends-- her favourite thing is the ball, which she can use to play with others. Dipsy is cool, and supposedly dances to a "reggae beat", whatever that is. His favourite thing is the hat, which doesn't really do anything, but looks really awesome. Tinky-Winky (who is not necessarily gay, despite what you may have assumed) likes order and routine, and his bag (given European culture and prepubescent gender perceptions) is less a symbol of feminity than of adulthood.

I'm a "Dipsy" type.

I used to watch Teletubbies every morning. I didn't have a toddler. I just discovered that if you pay close enough attention, the effects of Teletubbies on adults is similar to the effects of LSD. I think they may actually be aliens who are controlling our minds.

Consider the following: if they were aliens, they'd probably be juveniles. They have a rudimentary control of language and only two facial muscles (jaw and eyelids), so the majority of their communication to us must be through body language, which often goes straight into the subconscious. Body language between bipeds must surely be a universal language. So what does an stranded baby tell its hideous alien captors? What else? "Love Me." That is the purpose of cuteness.

It would take generations for any ship to make the trip across space to Earth. Ergo, when the aliens first sent their ambassadors, they expected them to be grown on the ship and released upon maturity to attempt communication with a primitive species. Humanity has recently advanced quite rapidly, however, and the ship unexpectedly encountered a technologically sophisticated culture. The British government was able to enter the alien craft and capture the stunted aliens, examine them, discover their mind-controlling properties, and then harness them as propaganda machines.

Can you tell I have a lot of spare time?

So, in summary:

The British government is evil.
Tailsteak = 8.
And Funimation can bite me.